Called Back (1911 film)

Called Back is a 1911 Australian feature-length film directed by W. J. Lincoln based on a play which was adapted from a novel by Hugh Conway. Although the movie was a popular success[4] it is now considered a lost film.

Called Back
Directed byW. J. Lincoln
Produced byWilliam Gibson
Millard Johnson
John Tait
Nevin Tait
Written byW. J. Lincoln[1]
Based onstage adaptation of novel by Hugh Conway
StarringCharles Hawtrey
Arthur Styan
CinematographyOrrie Perry
Release date
15 April 1911 (Melbourne)[2]
Running time
4,000 feet
LanguageSilent film
English intertitles


In Italy, Dr Ceneri gives money to support Garibaldi, including money meant for his orphaned niece and nephew, Pauline and Anthony. When they grow up, they learn of what he did with the money, and Anthony is killed by the villainous Macari. This is seen by Pauline who goes insane, and the blind Gilbert Vaughan. Vaughan regains his sight, Pauline regains her sanity, and they are married while Macari is arrested.



The play had been popular in Australia as a vehicle for George Rignold. The film was shot at the studio of Amalgamated Pictures in St Kilda, Melbourne.[7] There was location filming around St Kilda[8] with St Kilda station standing in for Euston station in London.[9]


Screenings of the film were often accompanied by a lecturer, J Ennis.[10]

The Adelaide Daily Herald wrote that "Australian cinematographic productions lose nothing by comparison with imported films, and Called Back is as thrilling and interesting a picture as could be wished for. It is 2000 ft. in length, and is typically Australian from start to finish. The acting has been done in the bush, and the atmosphere o! the gum trees runs through, the film."[11]

The Bendigo Advertiser said "the incidents in the film are splendidly enacted, close attention being paid to details."[12]

The Prahran Telegraph wrote:

The work of the adapter has been well done, so that incident follows incident, and the connective explanations thrown on the screen enable anyone unacquainted with the novel to follow the plot with ease. But to supplement this a descriptive narrative is given by a lecturer who voice his heard throughout the theatre. There are many bits of the open-air work which are familiar to St. Kilda people, and the death of Macari, the conspirator, takes place, if we mistake not, at Sandringham. The performance is of a thrilling nature, and holds the audience in rapt attention, while the song Pauline is plantively sung behind the curtain.[13]


  1. "TAIT'S PICTURES". Table Talk. Melbourne. 20 April 1911. p. 24. Retrieved 26 October 2014 via National Library of Australia.
  2. Mary Bateman, 'W. J. Lincoln', Cinema Papers, June–July 1980 p 214
  3. The bulletin, John Haynes and J.F. Archibald, 1880, retrieved 14 March 2019
  4. Graham Shirley and Brian Adams, Australian Cinema: The First Eighty Years, Currency Press, 1989, p42
  5. Called Back (1911) at IMDb
  6. "LIFE & LETTERS". The West Australian. Perth. 4 May 1946. p. 5. Retrieved 16 September 2013 via National Library of Australia.
  7. ""CALLED BACK."". The Argus. Melbourne. 17 April 1911. p. 8. Retrieved 28 January 2012 via National Library of Australia.
  8. "St. Kilda Theatre". The Prahran Telegraph. Vic. 6 May 1911. p. 5. Retrieved 18 June 2015 via National Library of Australia.
  9. "IN THE BARBER'S SHOP". Prahran Telegraph. Vic. 1 September 1917. p. 6. Retrieved 26 October 2014 via National Library of Australia.
  10. "Advertising". The Argus. Melbourne. 22 April 1911. p. 23. Retrieved 2 February 2012 via National Library of Australia.
  11. "EMPIRE THEATER". Daily Herald. Adelaide. 1 August 1912. p. 6. Retrieved 27 April 2015 via National Library of Australia.
  12. "ROYAL PRINCESS'S THEATRE". Bendigo Advertiser. Vic. 10 May 1911. p. 7. Retrieved 18 June 2015 via National Library of Australia.
  13. "St. Kilda Theatre". The Prahran Telegraph. Vic. 6 May 1911. p. 5. Retrieved 1 July 2015 via National Library of Australia.
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